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A baby shower theme can make planning and preparing easier and be a lot of fun for both guests and the parents-to-be. A theme can be as simple as a color scheme, or it can be a design element you carry over to the invitations, decorations, or games. If your theme is baby bottles, for example, you can buy (or make) bottle-shaped invitations, and use baby bottles to serve drinks or fill them with candy for game prizes.
Here are some other ideas for baby shower themes from our site parents.
"Two of my friends and my mom created a baby shower with a Mardi Gras theme. The room was decorated with a giant Mardi Gras mask and lots of other smaller masks. There were doubloons (coins typically thrown at Mardi Gras parades) scattered about the room and balloons in purple, green, and gold. There was crab dip, shrimp pasta, and lots of other foods with a Cajun twist. Zydeco music was playing in the background. Every guest was greeted with Mardi Gras beads as they came in, and we used them for the 'Don't Say Baby' game. It was wonderful."
"[My partner and I] love Halloween. Not cutesy Halloween – scary Halloween. We go all out on decorations every year, so we're planning an off-the-wall shower with a Rosemary's Baby theme."
"A travel-themed shower is perfect for jet-setting parents. Invitations can be miniature passports or plane tickets. A vintage suitcase filled with party favors makes a great centerpiece, and gifts can be wrapped in upcycled maps. For décor, hang toy airplanes from strings alongside 'clouds' made from bunches of polyester stuffing. A fun game is to make a list of the word 'baby' in as many different languages as you can find and have guests match the word to the correct country."
— A our site member
Do drop in
"My mom had a 'drop in' baby shower for me, sort of like an open house. We set the time for about two hours, and folks would drop in, have cake and punch, grab a party favor, hug the momma-to-be, and present the gift. I was able to open the gift in front of each giver, making it more memorable and personable. It also took the pressure off me to be the center of attention and gave me the opportunity to visit with guests. If kids came, my mom had a small craft station set up for them to make something while the parents talked. All in all, it was stress-free, and guests could come and go as they pleased."
"I love the idea of an eco-friendly, or green, baby shower. Give a plant as a favor, and ask guests to be creative about finding was to wrap gifts in items the new mom could reuse instead of throwing out. Like putting presents in photo boxes, baskets, or bins, or wrapping them in a baby blanket or fabric. The cups, plates, and cutlery should not be plastic, even though this might mean someone has to wash dishes."
"I like the idea of a 'recycled' baby shower with gently used and consignment shop gifts. It would be so green and economical!"
Back to nature
"This is my third child, and we're having a picnic shower. It's summer, so all the guests have been advised to BYOB (bring your own blanket) to the local park. We are packing fancy lunches (chicken salad on a croissant, fudge walnut brownies, bubbly water) in really nice gift bags. Plus, we're packing sack lunches for the little ones. The kids can play in the park while we do our grownup stuff. No one has to clean the house afterward – a big plus – and we all get to spend the day in the sun at the park."
"My sisters-in-law and two friends threw a surprise tea party baby shower for me. They made fresh flower centerpieces for the tables. They borrowed teapots, plates, and cups from a relative and placed a set on each table. My theme was teddy bears, so they borrowed bears and set them all around the room. All the tables were covered with fancy tablecloths, and guests were asked to dress up. The menu started with assorted teas, scones, etc. The main menu was turkey on a croissant, fresh fruit slices, and a salad. People are still talking about the shower!"
"I threw a brunch baby shower for my best friend. We had traditional games and gifts. Foods included 'virgin' (nonalcoholic) cocktails with fruit tarts, quiches, and a Bundt cake. White linens and real silver set the beautiful, classy mood."
"To break tradition for a friend who was having her third, we threw a 'mommy shower.' The decorations were very grown-up – fancy chocolates, cloth table linens, real glassware, and flowers. Instead of baby gifts, everyone gave things to pamper the mom, like comfy lounge clothes, gift certificates for takeout food, and manicures. She was thrilled!"
Star of the show
"Make the cake look like a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and have it say something like, 'A star will be born.' Or maybe even use the baby's name if it's already been picked out."
"As each guest arrives and walks down the red carpet, record the 'stars.' Let each guest give a special message to the mom-to-be. Send the video to the guest of honor, [so she can] add other special moments."
Nine months pregnant
"We invited the guests to come 'nine months pregnant' (shirts stuffed with pillows, etc.) so the mother-to-be wouldn't feel physically out of place. It was a coed shower, so even the men stuffed their shirts. Dressing up made for a nice icebreaker since all of the guests didn't know each other beforehand and created a very fun, relaxed atmosphere."
"Since this will be our second child and we have everything we need, a friend came up with the brilliant idea of a 'deep freeze' shower. She asked guests to bring a cooked, freezable meal to put in our freezer until after the baby arrives."
"I put together a basket with a bottle of wine, crackers, wine glasses, wine opener, block of cheese, summer sausage, etc. to display at my friend's shower. On the invitations, I wrote that there would be a raffle for a gift basket that anyone would love. The price for each entry was one small pack of diapers or a box of wipes. Guests could enter as many times as they liked. My friend didn't need to buy diapers for three months, and one of our guests won the beautiful basket!"
"'It's a Diaper Party!' That was the theme for my party, and it was great. We had diaper invitations and decorations. Since I had basically everything for the baby, all the guests were asked to bring diapers in all sizes as presents. In the end, not only did I end up with a diaper supply of about seven months, but the guests loved not having to agonize about bringing the perfect gift."
"Hang a clothesline in the room. Have guests arrive before the guest of honor and bring an item from the layette or an article of clothing for the baby to hang from the clothesline. When the mom-to-be walks in, she'll be delighted. She can also take the clothesline and clothes pins for her own personal use."
Books for the baby
"One of my friends held a 'book' shower with a fairy tale theme for our first baby. She asked each guest to bring a favorite book. We received board books, classic books, bedtime books, and storybooks. Many guests also brought a stuffed animal to match the book. It was a great way to start our baby's library!"
"A good friend of mine threw a book-themed shower for the birth of my third child. She made a book-shaped cake with decorations from children's books. The guests all brought gifts of children's books and other items if they wanted to. It was wonderful."
— A our site member